First let me admit I initially avoided reading Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
This book only ended up in my possession because a friend had it on her baby registry…so I gave it a quick read before passing it on to her as a gift. I know this is sort of tacky but she is such a good friend that if she is reading this hopefully she is laughing and won’t mind! (Now I can finally get it in the mail hahaha!!)
Anyway, I avoided this book because I thought I knew what it would say…”just put down your phone,” right?…and I was correct, but I certainly didn’t know how she would say this and how it would affect me.
Already I have made changes in my life that I can attribute to this book. And I promise when you make these changes, however minor they may be, when you see someone else doing what you used to do, you will feel so good about your new habits that you will stick to them! At least this has been my experience so far.
So…I’m going to summarize some of her points below, but if technology addiction/distraction applies to you at all, I recommend picking the book up and reading it yourself.
Here are just ten thoughts and quotes from this powerful book:
“Consider the mundane routines of your life. These are the movements that will someday become your grown children’s memories. What would your children’s memories of today be? Would it be that you paid more attention to your phone than you did to them?”
There is a sad story in this book: A child who was making a mother’s day gift at school about what makes her mom special wrote that her mom “loved her phone.” I don’t think any mom would want to be perceived like that but what is a kid to think if you are on your phone all the time?
- Understand that the most valuable things in life – priceless investments such as time spent with your family or doing something you enjoy – can’t be checked off a to-do list. Stop defining your productivity or value just by what you can check off a list.
- Define your distractions. This is the first step. What is taking your focus off of what truly matters? For many it is a phone, but it can also be computer, TV, even books. And I need to watch books as a replacement distraction!
- Go public. Tell the people in your life you are trying to curb your impulses towards distractions/technology and let them know how they can help you be successful.
- Designate small increments of time to be distraction free. Even if you have to start with 10 minutes at a time.
- Let go of the need for efficiency and let your children help you with household tasks even if it takes longer; these tasks are a great opportunity for connection.
- When waiting with your child for an appointment etc. use that time to connect and not be on your phone. Bring books, playing cards, crayons, coloring books etc.
“With each moment spent texting, surfing the Internet, checking social media, or reading emails, a chance to connect with our loved one is lost…A chance to make a memory is lost”
- When you notice yourself getting agitated over something small, like having to wait in a line, ask yourself:
“If you get upset about the little things in life, how in the world will you handle the big things? Instead of seething over the little things, let’s focus on the Moments that Matter and collect them – collect them while we can.”
- Look for tasks in your daily routine that you currently view as an inconvenience that may be an opportunity to connect – like going through a school folder, homework, or a commute.
After these thoughts – which are only summarized here and much more powerful in the book, she goes into chapters on simplifying your life, stopping the habit of over-committing, forgiving yourself for the past, silencing your inner critic, and being compassionate.
These chapters I didn’t feel as applicable to my own issues as the first part – we all fight different battles –but they certainly were well written and could be valuable to many as well.
In conclusion, she is not advocating to give up technology, our phones etc. (that is not possible!!) but just to find a balance so you can live your best life.
As someone who has a blog and promotes it on social media and another part-time job, I need to be on my computer and my phone daily. However, I am really trying to find the best times for this so as not to interfere with my relationship with my family.
I welcome you to join me in the Hands Free Revolution!
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